Relieve Tight Hips with One Leg Up Pose

Pose: One Leg Up Pose

Sanskrit Name: Supta Padangusthasana


How do I set up for the pose? 

Props

One block. One belt. One blanket. Two sandbags. Two bolsters. A wall or a version of a wall. 

Pranayama: Breath work

Inhale and exhale rhythmically in the pose to center yourself in the present moment.

Step one = Assess

My one-on-one assessment teaches you about body mechanics, joint position, muscular action/reaction, connective tissue health, nervous system health, and bone and spinal alignment. 

Step two = Apply  

Read How do I practice the pose? first. Do your best to remember the directions, but try not to get caught up in doing the pose perfectly.

When you practice these poses on your own, practice receiving feedback with yoga props, furniture, and walls. Remember to evenly engage muscular effort across joints. Balance opposite actions such as evenly resisting inward at the shins and outward at the thighs. 

Utilize the knowledge you have learned about body mechanics (creating movement with alignment, awareness, breath, and precision) to create energetic openings and deep releases, so you reach your fullest potential in the pose. Small incremental positive changes are gained on the physical level.

Then, and only if it’s comfortable for you, close your eyes or turn your gaze inward. Feel the feedback you receive from the props and match that with the positive emotion(s) that you want to feel. 

Step three = Activate

Repeat the pose 3 times on each side. You are repeating the pose to retrain your body, mind, heart, and spirit to feel expansive, abundant, positive, and alive. You are learning to transform habituated patterns of thinking, feeling, and being that create constriction and limitations in your mind, body, heart, and spirit. 

Transformational Work activates: 

  • The body to feel energized.
  • The mind to feel open, fresh, and new. 
  • The heart to feel positive emotion(s). 
  • The spirit to feel alive, connected, and free.

Caution:  If your back hurts at any point, mindfully exit the pose the way you entered the pose.


How do I  practice the pose?

Apply feedback with props. 

  • Lay your mat out with the short end of your mat next to the wall. 
  • Sit on your mat facing the wall and outstretch your legs. 
  • Place your feet on the wall, with slightly bent knees.
  • Place the medium width block between your feet and align the feet next to the block. 
  • Place each bolster next to the yoga mat, approximately one foot away. 

Activate lower core strength. 

  • Place one sandbag on your left lower shin. Resist up into the sandbag to encourage power and strength. 
  • Place the second sandbag on your left upper thigh. Allow the weight of the sandbag to anchor your thigh bone (femur) to the earth (to encourage internal rotation). 
  • Lay back on your mat and place the blanket under your neck and head. 
  • Adjust the positioning of your body so that you can press the bottom of the left foot powerfully into the wall. 

Activate upper core strength. 

  • Outstretch the arms, shoulder height. 
  • With the palms facing upward, externally rotate the upper arms and anchor them towards the mat.
  • Keep the external rotation in the upper arms and pronate (internally rotate) the lower forearms as you turn the palms to face downward. 
  • Maintain the actions in the arms to assist you to connect with your rhomboids (inner shoulder blade muscles) to draw the inner shoulder blades towards the spine. 

Activate lower core strength and core energy. 

  • Take the right leg upward. Keep the kneecap lifted and firm to keep the leg as straight as possible. 
  • Maintain a lumbar (lower back) curve.
  • Engage the abdominal muscles by pressing the bottom of the left foot firmly into the wall.

Evenly balance opposing actions.

  • Resist the left shin into the weight of the sandbag. Allow the weight of sandbag on the thigh to draw the thigh bone (femur) towards the earth. 
  • Take the extended right leg out to the side and rest your thigh on the bolster. If the bolster is too low, replace it with a block, or place the second bolster on top of the first bolster for more height. 
  • Keep extending both legs evenly. 
  • Soften your jaw, face, and eyes.

Breathe rhythmically and mindfully for 5-10 breaths. If possible, remain in the pose long enough to feel the elevated positive emotion(s) you want to feel. 

  • On your inhalation, engage your abdominals (without flattening your back) and lift the right leg back to center and slowly down to the mat. 

Exit the pose. 

  • Bend your elbows and slowly sit up.
  • Place one sandbag on your right shin (to encourage power) and the second sandbag on your right thigh (to encourage internal rotation and to draw the thigh bone downward).
  • Repeat the pose on the second side. 

Once you are in the pose, go within. Breathe rhythmically and mindfully.

Pause and Reflect. Decide how you want to feel while you are in the pose. Ask yourself these questions: What do you need to let go of (exhale)? What do you want to receive (inhale)? 

  • Exhale and let go of what no longer serves you: pain, tension, tightness, anxiety, fear, sadness, lack, scarcity, insecurity, separation, and so forth. 
  • Infuse Yourself Now: Inhale and feel what you want to bring into your future such as suppleness, flexibility, strength, freedom, joy, happiness, peace, vitality, loving-kindness, inclusivity, connection, unity, understanding, abundance, love, wealth, good health, and gratitude.
  • Breathe rhythmically and mindfully. If possible, remain in the pose long enough to feel the elevated positive emotion(s) you want to feel. 

How do I exit the pose? 

  • Inhale and then exhale as you take your leg down.  
  • Lay on your back and feel the effects of the pose.
  • Repeat the pose on the second side.

 

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